Col TriStar takes ‘Off’ rights

Van Damme pic finds U.S. seller

Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group has taken all North American rights to the Jean-Claude Van Damme actioner “Knock Off.”

Pic co-stars Paul Sorvino, Lela Rochon and Rob Schneider. It was written by Steven E. De Souza, scribe of action pics such as “Die Hard” and “48 HRS.,” and was directed by Tsui Hark.

Hark’s last pic, the Van Damme vehicle “The Colony,” was financed by Mandalay Entertainment and distributed domestically by TriStar.

“Knock Off,” which was produced by Signature’s Moshe Diamant and Nansun Shi, is being sold internationally by Mark Damon’s MDP Worldwide.

Signature — which has a first-look deal with Columbia Pictures — and MDP, which have collaborated on a number of Van Damme pics, also are in talks to co-finance and distribute the James Ellroy adaptation “The Black Dahlia,” with David Fincher attached to direct.

“Knock Off” is about a man battling an international terrorist group in Hong Kong during the colony’s transfer back to Chinese rule.

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